These days I walk out of the shower transformed. I’ve developed a new shower routine, and, with my millennial tendency to try to optimize everything in life, am thinking about adding a few more pieces to it.
First, I should give credit where credit is due–many of these things I found through one of my favorite publications, The Strategist. There have been several things I have sourced from The Strategist–from the cheap and the weird, like a little filter for my bathtub, to the expensive and important, like my Allswell mattress. What drew me to the publication at first was its strangely relatable, editorial-style content. I never thought I could call a review of a handbag, for example, “emotional” or “sweet” or “good writing”, but the very first piece I read from the strategist, a review of the Baggu Leather Bucket Bag, was exactly that.
Speaking of the cheap and the weird, one of my favorite current shower routine items is a set of Korean exfoliating bath mitts that I ordered from Amazon for $6.99 . They provide a really rigorous, invigorating clean that’s left my skin feeling smooth and soft after just a few days of consistent use, and I think has also helped with some mild backne (and chest-area-acne too). My skin really took a hit after so much travel between dramatically different climates, and I’m convinced this has accelerated the recovery–I initially got them to help slough off some dead skin from a terrible sunburn I got while white-water rafting on the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe.
FYI, my favorite “cleaning” scent is eucalyptus. So much that I recently tried to DIY my own oil diffuser with eucalyptus essential oil (I’ll talk about this some other time).
The reason I say this is that I used to use the soap Outback Mate from Lush. It had the best smell and a lovely blue color, which I would call something like the platonic ideal of the ocean. I loved its eucalyptus scent. I did not particularly love that it typically cost me ~$10 per bar (they charge by weight), but it was zero waste (yay earth!) and filled my shower time with that fresh, invigorating smell. Through The Strategist, I learned about a new brand called Necessaire, which also considers sustainability in its packaging (everything is recyclable and most of their containers are recycled themselves) and was described as great for dry or eczema prone skin (meee). The packaging was beautiful, and while it took me a second to figure out how the cap worked, brilliantly simple (the cap twists to dispense, and twists to close) pleasing even the mechanical engineer in me. And, of course, I got the eucalyptus scent!!
I also chose to get the kit that included the unscented Necessaire body lotion. While it does not have any added fragrance, I find it has quite a nice scent on its own, too, and the consistency is perfect for post-shower moisturizing, not too difficult to rub in and comes in a tube rather than a tub. Everyone in the reddit skin care community hates tub packaging (including me), because it means you have to dip your fingers into the cream each time you use it, potentially contaminating the product. The squeeze tube is also just easier to use.
Oh, and I guess I should mention what I use for my hair. I am in love with the entire TGIN line–I’ll talk about it more in another post, but since I obsessively tweak and optimize my skincare routine, I like my haircare purchase decisions to be simple, so I buy almost all my products from this line and I’m done. I don’t wash my hair everyday, but I moisturize daily with the TGIN Miracle Repairx Leave-In Conditioner. When I wash my hair, I use their Quenching Co-Wash, and then the holy grail of holy grails, the Honey Miracle Hair Mask. My best friend Kayla, who went natural a couple years ago and is as obsessive about her hair routine as I am about skincare, introduced me to this product, and it was the start of my extreme customer loyalty to TGIN. I once saw a tub on clearance at Target and had to fight myself not to buy it because I’d already had another two at home. It’s that good. I hope they never stop making this.
So in summary, my shower routine:
- Rinse body
- [if wash day] Rinse hair, and apply Quenching co-wash.
- [wash day] Detangle and rinse out the co-wash
- [wash day] Apply Honey Miracle Hair mask, detangle some more + work in the product. Let sit.
- Scrub with Necessaire Eucalyptus body wash and Korean exfoliating mitt
- Rinse everything, leaving in some of the hair mask.
- Towel-dry body and t-shirt dry hair
- Moisturize (quick! You gotta do it before you dry off fully) with Necessaire Body Lotion
- Perform skin care routine (this needs a whole other post)
- Apply leave-in moisturizer to hair
I now truly understand the phrase, “cleanliness is next to godliness”